Rowling: American Hogwarts is in Western Mass

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    An image of Ilvermorny School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, from "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling, next to Mount Greylock in Western Massachusetts, where Rowling writes that Ilvermorny is located. —Pottermore/Wikimedia Commons

Published: 6/29/2016 8:14:18 AM

ADAMS — Ever wondered if North America has its own Hogwarts — the British wizarding school that educated Harry Potter and his friends? Well, it does, and it’s in Western Massachusetts.

In a piece of writing unveiled Tuesday, “Harry Potter” series author J.K. Rowling details the history of “Ilvermorny,” an American school of wizardry and witchcraft located on top of a famous Massachusetts mountain.

“It stands at the highest peak of Mount Greylock, where it is concealed from non-magic gaze by a variety of powerful enchantments, which sometimes manifest in a wreath of misty cloud,” Rowling writes.

The “Harry Potter” series, following the adventures of a young wizard as he progresses through the wizarding school Hogwarts captured the attention of readers everywhere over the course of seven books, published between 1997 and 2007. But the setting rarely strayed outside of Rowling’s home country of Great Britain.

Rowling even famously insisted that all actors and actresses in the film versions, released between 2001 and 2011, be British.

Now American fans — particularly those from Massachusetts — can claim a piece of the Potter universe.

In Rowling’s 5,300-word fictional essay, she recounts the history of Ilvermorny, founded in the 17th century.

The founder of the school, Isolt Sayre, came to America in 1620 aboard the Mayflower, on which she learned “a witch was unlikely to find many friends among the Puritans.”

In the tale, readers can learn about magical creatures native to America, including the powerful Hidebehinds and the large-eared Pukwudgie.

True to ideals that would later be forged in the American Revolution, the American school has held up American principles.

“Ilvermorny has the reputation of being one of the most democratic, least elitist of all the great wizarding schools,” she writes.

Dave Eisenstadter can be reached at


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